People pray to God to send them a child. What does a
man need a child for? They say that one ought to leave an
heir, a son to provide for his parents in their old age and to
pray for them after their death. Is that all?
Leaving an heir what does it mean? Are you afraid
there will be по one to look after your property? But why
should you care about things you will leave behind? What,
are you sorry to leave them to other people? What kind of
treasures have you gained to regret them so much?
A good child is a joy, but a bad one is a burden. Who
knows what kind of a child God will bestow on you? Or
haven’t you had enough of the humiliation you have had to
swallow all your life? Or have you committed too few mis-
deeds? Why are you so eager to have a child, to rear yet
another scoundrel and doom him to the selfsame humilia
You want your son to pray for you after your death.
But if you have done good in your lifetime, who will not
utter prayers for the repose of your soul? And if you have
done only evil, what will be the use of your son’s prayers?
Will he perform good deeds in your stead those you have
failed to accomplish?
If you beg for a child who will experience the joys of
the next world, it means that you wish him an early death.
But if you want him to secure for yourself the joys of this
world, then can a Kazakh beget a son who, on growing to
manhood, will show care and concern for his parents and
protect them from suffering? Can such a people and a
father like you raise a worthy son of this kind?
You want him to feed and clothe you in your decrepit
old age? A vain hope, too! First of all, will you live to
reach your dotage? Second, will your son grow up so mer
ciful as to care for you in your old age? If you happen to
own livestock there will always be someone ready to
look after you. If you have none, who knows who will pro
vide for you and how. And who knows whether your son
will increase your wealth or squander what you have
gained by your labour?
Well, supposing God has heard your prayers and
given you a son. Will you manage to educate him well?
No, you will not! Your own sins will be compounded by
those of your son.
From the very outset of his life you will be telling him
lies, promising him now this, now that. And you will be
glad when you manage to deceive him. Then whom can
you blame when your son grows up a liar? You will teach
him bad language and to revile other people, you will coon-
done his misdeeds: Now, don’t touch this obstinate lad!
and encourage his cheekiness. For his schooling, you
choose a mullah whom you pay little, just to teach him to
read and write: you teaching him to be cunning and under
hand, you make him suspicious of his peers and graft on
bad inclinations Is that your upbringing? And you expect
kindness from a son like that?
In the same way, people pray to God for wealth. What
does man need wealth for? You have prayed to God? Yes,
you have, and God has given, but you won’t take! He has
endowed you with strength to work and prosper. But do
you use this for honest labour? No! God granted you the
power to learn, a mind capable of assimilating knowledge,
but who knows what you used it for. Who will fail to pros
per if he works hard, perseveres without tiring and makes
good use of his mind? But you don’t need that! You pray to
get rich by intimidating, cheating and begging from other
people. What kind of prayer is that? It is simply plunder
and beggary on the part of a person who has lost his con
science and honour.
Supposing you have chosen this path and gained poss-
session of livestock. Well, use it to get an education! If not
for yourself, then for your son. There can be neither faith
nor well-being without an education. Without learning, по
prayers or fasts or pilgrimages will achieve their purpose.
I have yet to see a person who, having acquired wealth by
dishonest means, has put it to good use. Ill-gotten gains are
likewise ill spent. And nothing remains of such wealth
save the bitterness of disappointment, anger and anguish of
While he has wealth, he will boast and swagger.
Having frittered it away, he will brag about his former
affluence. Impoverished, he will stoop to begging.